Thursday, July 02, 2009

NIMJ files amicus brief supporting cert in Loving's FOIA appeal

As the No Man has previously observed, USDB death row inmate Dwight Loving has a cert petition pending at the Supremes seeking review of his FOIA appeal, which argues for his right to see the recommendations as to whether the President should approve his death sentence. Loving v. Dep't of Defense, No. 08-1476.

NIMJ has now filed an amicus brief supporting Loving's cert petition. The amicus brief is available here. Loving's cert petition is available here. The SG has received an extension to file an opposition until 31 July 2009.

1 comment:

John O'Connor said...

Something that struck me about the NIMJ brief is its reliance on Massacusetts v. Laird, 400 U.S. 886, 890 (1970), for the proposition that the Supreme Court should be deciding due process issues such as those involved in Loving's petition.

Given the elementary point for which Laird is cited, I was surprised to see that case as the lead authority because, as I recalled it, the Court never reached the merits in Laird.

Sure enough, when I pulled the cited case, it was actually a one-judge dissent by Justice Douglas from the Court's REFUSAL to accept (under its original jurisdiction) a suit by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts challenging the constitutionality of the Vietnam War. Normally, you'd expect to see a paranthetical to note you're relying on a dissenting opinion from a case, but more to the point it's an odd case to rely on for the Court's duty to take on constitutional issues because the Court did just the opposite in Laird.